Madison, Dane County ban all gatherings of 250 people or more; Overture Center closing its doors until April

Overture Center
Photo by Overture Center

MADISON, Wis. — Madison and Dane County health officials have issued a ban to stop all mass gatherings of 250 people or more to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

According to a news release from Public Health Madison and Dane County, the ban is effective Friday at 5 p.m. The order will continue until further notice.

“We are taking proactive steps to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the health of our community,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We realize these orders make a substantial impact on the lives of people in our community, and we believe they are necessary to protect public health.”

The release said Wisconsin Statute 252 outlines a health officer’s authority to take “all measures necessary to prevent, suppress, and control communicable disease.” Not complying with the order can lead to fines, imprisonment or both.

As a result of the ban, the Overture Center in Madison will be closing its doors and canceling all upcoming performances and events, which is effective immediately. The remaining performances for WICKED are canceled, including Friday’s performance.

Those who already bought tickets will receive a refund check or gift certificate through the mail depending on the type of payment used. Guests will have priority access to purchase tickets for the show once it is rescheduled.

All other Overture events are canceled through April 13. The building’s doors will be locked, and most employees will begin to work from home.

Health officials in Rock County have also recommended that organizers cancel or postpone any events that will bring in large groups of people.